Asia-Pacific

BBC website unblocked in China

Image caption China's government regularly censors internet sites available inside the country

The BBC's website is accessible once again in China after being blocked for several days.

The blackout coincided with the award ceremony for this year's Noble Peace Prize winner, the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

The website was blocked along with other international news sites.

China's government regularly blocks websites and censors internet search results inside the country.

Furious reaction

Officials declined to comment on the initial blackout, and would not admit they were behind the move.

But it is no secret that China operates what has been dubbed the "Great Firewall", a series of initiatives that attempt to filter internet content.

Some international websites, such as the site run by Human Rights Watch, are permanently inaccessible in China.

Others, such as the BBC, are occasionally blocked, often when there is a major news event relating to China.

In this latest incident the BBC's English-language website was unavailable from the day before last week's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. The BBC's World News channel was also disrupted.

Chinese officials reacted with fury when it was announced that dissident Liu Xiaobo, currently serving an 11-year prison sentence for inciting subversion, had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Nobel Peace Prize committee held a lavish ceremony to honour Mr Liu in Oslo last Friday.

China appears to have done what it could to stop unfiltered news of the event reaching its own people.